“The Football Monopoly in Los Angeles is Officially Over”

AndySenior Analyst ISeptember 2, 2008

Wow.  Just…wow.  There is so much to say…about this game…about this team…about Kevin Craft…about our new head coach…about our other coaches…about our defense…I’m really having trouble where to begin…

So, let’s try beginning at the end.  Check out Rick Neuheisel’s Post-Game Speech, courtesy of Adam Rose of the L.A. Times.

Wow.  It’s almost kind of weird having a coach that just always says the right thing, and says it with such incredible enthusiasm.

It took a lot of chutzpah for Neuheisel to move this game to a Monday, so that the game would be played in front of the entire nation.  There was only college football on television…on Labor Day…and trust me…everyone was watching it.

The Neuheisel era could not have gotten off to a better start.

I have to admit…as a UCLA fan still living in the  shadows of the Dorrell era…I have to say I was always waiting for things to head south.  I think, with this coaching staff, you have to think the opposite.  Instead of thinking, “My God…how are they going to screw this one up?”, last night I discovered that what I really should be saying is…”How are Neuheisel, Walker, and Chow going to get us out of this one?”

“Relentlessly Positive.”  That’s Neuheisel’s mantra as a head coach.  The two words he lives by…and two words I’ve NEVER used to describe a UCLA football program. Gene Wojciechowski, lets us in on the Neuheisel Mystique:

But as the Bruins prepared to return to the field, player after player approached Craft, the junior college transfer from Mt. San Antonio College. The message was always the same.

“We got your back, no matter what happens,” linebacker Korey Bosworth said.
Don’t ask how — I’m not sure Craft even knows — but the first half from hell turned into the second half from heaven. Craft began throwing completions, this time to his own teammates. And by the end of UCLA’s 27-24 overtime win, Craft had become part of gutty little Bruins football lore.

“I know I can play,” Craft said. “I know how to play the game.”

So now I think I get why Neuheisel has a record of 72-25.  He believes…and he gets his staff to believe…and he gets his players to believe.

I guess in college football, believing goes a long way.

It took one game. I think I can say with quite a bit of confidence, that I, too, believe in this guy:

It’s a great time to be a bruin.

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